News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 07/03/2019
Subject :

Palo Alto City Library Experiments with Virtual Reality
Contact : Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne, Library Director    (650) 329-2403

Palo Alto, CA –The Palo Alto City Library is exhibiting virtual reality scenes created during the library’s VR Hackfest held at Mitchell Park Library on June 22. The exhibit seeks to engage the public in the issues and potential of two emerging technologies: virtual reality and the ‘distributed web.’ The exhibit will be on display through July near the entrance at Mitchell Park Library. The exhibit then moves to Rinconada Library, near the South entrance, in August. 

During the VR Hackfest, participants learned how to use A-Frame code to render 3D scenes that can be experienced through a web browser or VR headset. A-Frame is a new framework that web publishers and 3D designers can use to design web sites, games, and 3D art. 

The collection of 3D scenes created in the VR Hackfest were published to the Internet using the Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS), a distributed web technology developed in Palo Alto by Protocol Labs. IPFS allows anyone to publish to the Internet without a server, through a peer-to-peer network that works seamlessly with the existing Internet. IPFS is much faster, more secure, and allows people to publish directly to the Internet without the need of third parties, like Google or Facebook.

“Content on IPFS is essentially permanent, allowing free speech to flourish, but that freedom also extends to controversial posts,” said Library Services Manager M Ryan Hess.

The VR Hackfest and the exhibit seek to introduce the public to these technologies and challenge the community to consider the implications of emerging technology on information access, political speech, hate speech, censorship, the arts and many other aspects of our online lives.

The 3D scenes created at the VR Hackfest can also be viewed online here. It’s a big file so please give it a second or two to load.